Leica ADS40 Helps Rescue 700 Villagers After Quake

Mon July 28, 2008 - National Edition

In the aftermath of the devastating May 12 earthquake in Sichuan, China, local authorities coordinating disaster relief efforts required a fast, accurate and comprehensive overview of the damage and affected areas.

Following a request from the Chinese Academy of Science (CAS), Taiyuan Aero Photography Co. Ltd. immediately agreed to dispatch its Leica ADS40 digital airborne sensors to Chongqing near Chengdu in the Sichuan province. Since May 13, 15 flights were undertaken in the earthquake area, taking full advantage of the efficiency of the Leica ADS40 sensor system. Supported by Leica Geosystems staff, terabytes of continuous high quality image data were acquired and processed on a daily basis and sent overnight to local authorities and the president’s office for analysis and updates.

On May 16, after processing a flight undertaken earlier that day, Leica Geosystems’ support staff sent the corrected image data to the China Central Government Earthquake Salvation Centre for inspection. While analyzing the image strip, the leadership’s attention was drawn to a sign stating “SOS700” on a rooftop in the village of Cao Ping near Yingxiu town. Although nobody in the Salvation Center immediately understood the message, a rescue team was quickly dispatched to the village. Upon arrival in Cao Ping, the rescuers encountered 700 villagers without food and water, many of them injured.

The discovery of the villagers’ call for help was made possible by the performance features of the Leica ADS40. The line sensor technology of Leica ADS40 permits fast large area data collection at equal resolution across all bands without the loss of image quality and information in the multispectral bands.

In combination with a fast and simple workflow, the Leica ADS40 delivers real production efficiency when time is of the essence, according to the manufacturer.